Feel Like A Stranger, West L.A. Fadeaway, Easy To Love You, Beat It On Down The Line, It Must Have Been The Roses, The Last Time, Picasso Moon, Don't Ease Me In
Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain, Samson & Delilah, Believe It Or Not, Truckin'-> Jam-> Drums-> Jam-> The Other One-> Hey Jude*-> Dear Mr. Fantasy-> Hey Jude Reprise-> Sugar Magnolia, E: It's All Over Now Baby Blue
May 6, 2017 Subject:
Try the matrix
Since it's Canada, safe to say that nobody here on the archive was there.* The Canada shows didn't have as big of a parking lot scene and this show was small for the era, with less than 19,000 people (it was built for - what else, eh - hockey). Conversely, Canada didn't have the Big Brother mentality that had started to plague the eastern shows during post-Touch.
If you've never been, Hamilton is a beautiful city with the Canadian friendliness, just south of Toronto (and just west of Niagara Falls & Buffalo). This semi-obscure show pops up on 90s fave lists sometimes for the Scarlet>Fire, which was yanked for the So Many Roads box. I say "semi" because the Ontario shows followed the Cap Center shows (Terrapin Limited) and were followed by the Albany run (Dosin' @ the Knick), which (along with Nassau & MSG) are often considered the best '90 eastern shows. So it gets overlooked (edit:: not as much now that it's on the Spring '90 boxes). This is the "peak" of the Brent era where his great playing was often a highlight.
The show is known for : Scarlet>Fire; Hey Jude (a complete version, interpolating "Dear Mr. Fantasy"); Believe it or Not (last one ever).
1st set. Solid, and doesn't need to warm up and settle in. By BioDtL-12 (one of only 2 in '90) the machine is rolling along. The Stones' Last Time is in one of its better versions. The only hiccup is the played-to-death yet rarely-in-the-pocket Picasso Moon, though it's better than some other '90 versions. "Bigger than a drive-in movie ooo-eee"? C'mon, Barlow. It has clunky transitions and I think Jer never knew quite what to do with Bobby's pet project. Stylistically a twin of "Hell in a Bucket", it needed a better arrangement, smoother lyrics for Bobby's spit-delivery, and some space for Jer to expand. Dough Knees is lickety-split and off; no expansion.
2nd set. Opens with a Scarlet>Fire that's a best-of-'90 candidate. I love just about any Scarlet but truth is this one's average until the tranny when each of the boys catch a spark and push the energy into a flaming Fire like 13-year-old pyromaniacs. A peppy, inspired, 20-minute version. You can hear Mickey's Fire-specific percussion (marimbas setting?) better on the SBD sources than on So Many Roads' Disc 4. Jer walked off quite a bit earlier than everybody else during the jam out of Truckin'. Brent inserts a stanza of Dear Mr.Fantasy into Hey Jude. This was the first complete Jude since '69 and the last. After this, the song was used only as a reprise. This is a Brent block but Phil pwns it. BTW - this was also the last Believe It and one of only six. It hadn't been played in 2 years. I don't remember the whole story but didn't somebody hate playing it? Too bad, eh? It was more developable than some of the '92-'95 songs that never gelled. Surprisingly, the set ends with the best Sugar Mag of '90. Letter perfect - it's for this the show should be known. And the same can be said for the encore. These Copp shows are just as good as the more highly-valued Albany '90, MSG '90 (except for 9/20), and better than the Maryland '90 shows.
*Just teasing all of you Canuck deadheads!
1st Set: B 2nd Set: C+
Overall = 3½ stars
Beat it On Down the Line - a dozen and in
The Last Time - were now on top of it
Fire on the Mountain - plus the jam out of Scarlet
Sugar Magnolia - Bobby better than year before
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - emo Jer
SOURCES - There's a great Hunter matrix (seamons.113144) if you prefer the excitement over the official box. The vid is usually on YouTube. Scarlet>Fire is on So Many Roads. It's All Over Now is on Garcia Plays Dylan.
DylanM - Not sure how you would institute a tiered rating system based on eras, but good points. Well-stated.
November 30, 2012 Subject:
Great to hear insights from somebody who was actually at this show.
One comment though, I do agree that many Heads on the archive hand out five-star ratings like candy (I have done this with shows I have later re-listened to and were certainly not "perfect"), however, I think rating these shows against a career long continuum could be misleading.
Basically this means that were rating Freedom Hall 74', Cow Palace 76', Fillmore West 69', Red Rocks 78', all on the same scale as this 1990 show? I dont think that's necessarily the most helpful way to rate and review.
IMHO, reviews for shows on the archive should be based on the transfer (sound of the recording, is this a major upgrade? did H. Seamons really bring out lesser-heard qualities from this performance in his transfer?) and against other shows of the era. I would rate this show against other performances from 1988 through 1990, when they were rotating the "Built to Last" material in full-force and were inevitably trying new things with MIDI and taking more risks with lengthy jamming and unusual arrangements.
So to me, no this is not a five star show compared to Fall 1973 or whatever, but when looking at the later Brent years, Spring 1990, and particularly this leg of the tour are IMHO all five star performances. That doesn't mean there isn't musical mistakes or vocal flubs here-or-there, but it means that they were on a revival stride (reviving and retiring beloved tunes) and obviously putting in the extra effort.
A perfect example of a flaw turned noteworthy from this performance is when Brent completely batches his only attempt at performing the full "Hey Jude". Technically this should be a perceived as sloppy, after all, he forgets about half the lyrics and its pretty obvious the band had (like the tended to do sometimes with their less thought-out covers) barely rehearsed it before hand. But it's an emotional performance that takes off once Brent gets back on track and then the finale portion forgives his previous forgetfulness. The fact that they even took this risk, successful or not, makes this show more noteworthy than many, especially combined with the other highlights you mentioned.
Anyways, thanks for sharing your memories of this show, wish I was old enough to have seen it.